Seb Bassong issues a promotion warning for Norwich City
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Seb Bassong is wary of the enemy within undermining Norwich City's Championship promotion push.
The Canaries' centre-back believes the close proximity of City's rivals towards the summit with just five league games left ensures Alex Neil's men can not look beyond Bolton this weekend.
'It is very interesting and it keeps you on your toes with so many clubs fighting it out. You know you can't relax,' he said. 'I think it will be this way until the end of the season. I think it is better like that because usually you have one team who runs away with it and is already promoted by this stage. Hopefully it will be us who win the race.
'We are here, competing for the promotion so that is the best thing we can aim for. Of course the belief is there with the boys. If you don't have that as a footballer then there is no point to keep playing. We have to stay positive and if it takes winning the next five games then that is what we will try to do.'
City appear to have timed their winning run perfectly after moving into the automatic promotion spots for the first time since October following a faultless Easter period.
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'Other people might say we are the form team but the reality is we have to perform every game. Every match is a different story,' said Bassong. 'We might have been in good form in recent weeks but you don't know what is going to happen at Bolton or the day after. It is up to us to make sure we don't get sloppy and we focus on our target. If we are all at it then we have a big chance.
'The boss has said it enough times, 'We have to take it game by game'. That isn't just now with five left, he has been saying that from the first moment he arrived. Boys, don't think about Ipswich, when that was a while away, but just the one coming up. There is no point to think about Leeds or Middlesbrough if we don't win at Bolton.'
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The 28-year-old spent a successful loan stint at City's promotion rivals Watford earlier this season, when he was out-of-favour under Neil Adams, and Bassong would love to see the Hornets follow his club out of the division.
'I know those players and I rate them. I know the structure they are playing within, the club and they have a fair chance to go up and I would like them to go up, but just behind us,' he said. 'They wanted me back because we had a good time together. It wasn't up to me, it was up to the board here and the chief executive and it didn't happen. I don't know why, maybe because the manager wanted me back here.'
• Read Bassong's verdict on his Carrow Road exile earlier this season in Saturday's Pinkun.